Soon to be available on vinyl – the CD and digital version of the album are already out – Japan’s Evil offer an orgy of brutally simplistic black/thrash metal that’ll satisfy anyone with a yen for uncomplicated headbanging jollies. People like me in fact!

After an instrumental intro track that sounds like an outtake from seminal EMI NWoBHM compilation Metal For Muthas, the band get down to the real business on second track Yaksa; the band’s drummer – strangely also called Yaksa – has a great, economic style akin to UK street punkers like GBH or Broken Bones, which keeps the sound rooted in a punk crustiness that adds real appeal to the more metal minded guitars. Revenge also has an English twist, sounding very much like pre-Music For Nations-era Onslaught.

Raizin is just a straightforward punk-metal romp, lacking the fire and bite of the first couple of tracks, but Paramount Evil gets things back on an evil keel with a vicious dose of out-and-out thrashing mayhem infused with a gutteral Teutonic rage that brings early Sodom to mind.

I’m sure you’re getting the picture by now – this is proper, punk-infused metal, swathed in bullet belts and greasy denim, just how we used to like it. Evil have studied their subject matter well, with the result that the ‘rudimentary’ solo on Reaper just sounds right rather than forced, if you see what I mean… it actually takes quite a bit of skill to pull this ‘tight but loose’ style off.

If we’re being brutally honest the material isn’t quite uniformly awesome enough to hold the attention for the full duration of the album, but once you’ve sorted out your faves and sequenced the tracks accordingly there’s still enough of the good stuff here to cause a cider-fuelled headrush of mid-eighties proportions, let me tell you. Well worth a listen!

Possessed by Evil releases on February 15th.